Trump values do not stop at the Rio Grande

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Remember when President George W. Bush said this?

“I’ve had a lot of experience with dealing with borders, as the Governor of Texas. I know there’s a compassionate, humane way to deal with this issue. I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River.”

It was January 2005. Bush had just won reelection by being strong on national security. Then after narrowly defeating John Kerry, Bush did what Bushes tend to do when they think they’re secure: He lurched to the left and betrayed the base of his own party. He cast Americans who want a strong, secure border as racists – just four years after we had been attacked by international terrorists who exploited our weak immigration system to kill thousands of us. Bush behaved as if Americans didn’t know that Mexicans living south of the Rio Grande believe in family. Millions of Americans have Mexican heritage themselves. But they or their ancestors chose to be Americans.

Where family values end or don’t end was never the issue. The issue was and is, will the American government provide the security the Constitution and the law require so Americans living near the border can have peaceful communities? Will the American government stop the flow of dangerous fentanyl and other drugs into the country? Will the American government stand by America’s sovereignty?

The answer from Bush’s time forward was no, it wouldn’t. Bush played to the media, he played to the Democrats, he played to John McCain, and he got burned by both, while pushing a “comprehensive” bill that wouldn’t address the issue. Meanwhile, his own voters soured on him and he left office a failure, in total disgrace, with one of the lowest approval ratings of any reelected president in modern history.

Barack Obama was never interested in securing the border. He waged an undeclared war on law enforcement and his administration attempted to use border lawlessness to undermine Americans’ Second Amendment rights. That’s what the Fast and Furious gun running operation was all about. Obama saw the porous border as a source for future Democrat votes.

Things finally changed with President Donald J. Trump. He ran for office and won on border security, and unlike most presidents on this issue, he followed through. He instituted policies that slowed and then all but stopped the flow of illegal migrants across the border. He started building a much-needed wall on the border, not because “family values” don’t stop at the border, but because the cartels, human traffickers, and other lawbreakers don’t stop at the border. They come right across every day.

The Bush wing of the Republican Party, along with the media, fretted that prioritizing border security would drive Hispanic voters over to the Democrats. They see race as the be-all-end-all, not patriotism or respect for the rule of law. Reality is proving them wrong.

The Democrats, some Republicans, and the media miscalculated badly. The push to socialism didn’t just turn off Hispanics, it drove them away. They’re capitalists who work in the oil fields and across America’s vibrant – free – economy. The willful negligence on the border didn’t just push Hispanics away, it angered them. Their communities are the first and hardest hit by border chaos. Leaving the border to the mercy of cartels and traffickers puts their own people in grave and mortal danger every single day. Now Democrats have a serious Latino voter problem, because they created one. They thought everyone was as thuggish and lawless as they are on the left. They’re wrong.

Bush was wrong about so much. Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande, of course, but they do stop at the door of the DNC and most of America’s media outlets. Family values include the right to determine your course in life free from gangs who want to own your communities and control your children. Some of those gangs wield guns and push illicit drugs; some of those gangs control universities and are trying to tear down our country from within while using ridiculous terms like “Latinx” to pander to a strong, patriotic, faithful community that isn’t interested in the poisons they’re peddling.

What doesn’t stop at the Rio Grande is the need to truly make America great again. Joe Biden has made an utter mess of the border. He and Bush have a lot in common. America cannot be truly great unless and until it secures its border and protects its most vulnerable American communities. Those communities are on the north side of the Rio Grande, they are majority Hispanic, and they are becoming MAGA country now.

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A.J. Rice

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